George Michael: Pop Sensation

2016 was infamously known as the year that some of the most amazing, talented celebrities passed on. All the way from boxing legend Muhammad Ali to Gene Wilder, who became the apple of children’s eyes.

One of the most notable ones was the demise of musical legend George Michael. Some could say George was born to be a pop sensation, he was tall, fit, and was undeniably attractive. He started off his career with merging with good friend Andrew Ridgeley to form “WHAM!”, a British pop band that became one of the most notable ones of the 80’s. The band originally had 2 members, Michael and Ridgeley, but Pepsi & Shirlie who were backup dancers, became a part of the WHAM family.

As a foursome, they conquered the 80’s with songs like Careless Whisper and Last Christmas, in 1985 much hard work and dedication landed WHAM on the top 5 US Billboards with songs Careless Whisper and pop sensation Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. Millions of teenage gals and guys adored the band. The biggest understatement of 2017 would be saying that Mr. Ronai, a History teacher at Harborfields, was a fan of WHAM! “Listen, I used to hear all of their songs at the gym, some were ok, and some were great!” said Mr. Ronai in an interview.

Not all fans of WHAM were born before 1973, Matthew Rosenberg, a current Senior at Harborfields adores the band in its entirety. “I mean really man, it’s a great band. Who doesn’t love Wake Me Up Before You Go Go?”, Matt said in an interview Tuesday. Much like all good things, it had to end. Michael quickly outgrew Ridgeley and in mid 1986 WHAM officially announced their breakup after 4 years of success and selling over 28 million records and 15 million singles. However, Michael was nowhere near his demise.

Nearly immediately after the breakup of WHAM Michael released his first solo album, Faith, which had much success that was somewhat cut short due to it being regarding of having too much sexually suggestive lyrics. The next 2 albums released, Listen Without Prejudice and Older showed no signs of slowing down. In fact, Michael was voted in the MTV European Awards to be the best British Male. As the millennium was winding down to an end, Michael released an album with accordance of Virgin Records, Songs From The Last Century. The album worked against George and only made it to the best 157/200 albums on the US Billboards.

Michael took a bit of a hiatus from the industry releasing small albums here and there and some duets. He had received much shock and criticism when he came out of the closet identifying himself as gay. In a 2004 interview, Michael stated that "I used to sleep with women quite a lot in the Wham! days but never felt it could develop into a relationship because I knew that, emotionally, I was a gay man. I didn't want to commit to them but I was attracted to them. Then I became ashamed that I might be using them. I decided I had to stop.” It’s no doubting that George Michael could get any girl he wanted, he realised that having so much sex with so many women didn’t change the way he felt about his sexuality. It was the men that really he desired.

George went into a bit of a downward spiral in the late 2000’s most of the time he was being “stupid” with drugs he said in an interview in the 2010’s. In 2012 until his death he dated Fadi Fawaz, an Australian celebrity hairstylist and a freelance photographer. He was found Christmas morning, in his home on Christmas lying peacefully in his bed. The causes of death weren’t released to the public in full detail and his funeral wasn’t until March of 2017. George is remembered by his friends, family, and of course his fans as one of the most talented artists in pop history.

Jack Blitch